Claudio Bravo is the first-choice goalkeeper for Marcelo Bielsa's Chile side and is also the national team captain. Bravo is known for his leadership skills and maturity.
Bravo's parents say that he didn't have any real intention of earning his livelihood as a goalkeeper. However, after his father recognised his son's talent and admitted him to the youth academy of one of Chile's biggest clubs Colo Colo, Bravo became more engrossed in the sport.
In 2006, Bravo won his first title with Colo-Colo. In the final against bitter rivals Universidad de Chile, the 27-year-old made an acrobatic save from Mayer Candelo to win the championship for his side on penalties.
That year Bravo moved to Spain to play for Real Sociedad. However, with la Real's relegation to the Spanish Segunda Division, Bravo's career did take a step back, but after a loan spell at Recreativo Huelva, the 27-year-old became the first-choice for Real, out-muscling Asier Riesgo. However, he struggled with a knee injury in 2009-10.
Claudio Bravo will be the first choice custodian for Chile at the 2010 World Cup finals. He tookover from Marcelo Salas as the team captain but his leadership qualities and abilities to motivate his team have been obvious.
Many people say that Bravo is the successor of Roberto ´Condor´ Rojas, the best and most talented goalkeeper Chile ever had. Bravo's height allows him to be strong in the air and he also possesses the ability to distribute the ball from the back. Bravo once saved a spotkick from Ronaldinho when Chile were facing Brazil.
Chile's main weakness is their defence and how far the South Americans progress in the World Cup will depend much on Bravo between the sticks.
Did you know?
The nickname of Claudio Bravo is ´Small condor` after Roberto ´Cóndor` Rojas.
Zamora Trophy, Liga Adelante 2009
Best Player, Liga Adelante 2009